"My husband's a wonderful man. He's bewildered because I wanted this summer apart. He's a radiologist. He takes X rays, but I never let him take one of me because if he looked inside he'd see things that he wouldn't understand. He'd be terribly hurt."
- Stephanie (Dianne Wiest)
"If your life hasn't worked out, stop blaming me for it."
- Diane (Elaine Stritch) to Lane (Mia Farrow)
New York Times - 12/18/1987
"...Allen's riskiest film....This is the way it should be done..."
Variety - 12/16/1987
"...Exceedingly well acted and sparked by numerous outstanding scenes....Farrow is heartwrenching in her portrayal of naked, undisguised pain..."
Los Angeles Times - 12/18/1987
"...There are wonderful things here: Elaine Stritch's blowzy, brassy, bravura performance as an aging movie star, the delicately balanced ensemble interplay, the elegantly unobtrusive long camera takes..."
In a serene Vermont country house, six people share their dreams, their fears, and their desires, as secrets are revealed and trusts broken. The cast is led by Mia Farrow, who plays Lane, a woman who has never fully dealt with a long-ago shooting. Elaine Stritch plays Diane, Lane's mother, who never stops talking about her wild past spent with movie stars and gangsters; she is married to Lloyd (Jack Warden), a physicist with a gloomy view of the future of the universe. Sam Waterston plays Peter, a divorced writer wanna-be who loves Stephanie (Dianne Wiest), Lane's married best friend. Finally, Denholm Elliott plays Howard, the older and wiser professor who is coming to terms with his feelings for Lane. Writer-director Woody Allen's SEPTEMBER is a mature, grim, serious film, close in theme and pacing to INTERIORS, very different from such spirited romantic comedies as ANNIE HALL and HANNAH AND HER SISTERS.
This intimate Woody Allen drama is set in the last days of summer in a Vermont country house in which six characters discover the pain and pleasure of life and relationships, filled with tragedy and unrequited love. It's about mothers and daughters, about emotions that are universally recognizable. It's about trying to survive in a complex world of difficult relationships. SEPTEMBER stars Mia Farrow, Elaine Stritch, and Dianne Wiest.
Family Interaction |
Theatrical release: December 1987.
Filmed entirely at Kaufman Astoria Studios in New York.
The film grossed less than half a million dollars at the box office.
Allen extensively reshot this film after changing several cast members. Maureen O'Sullivan (Mia Farrow's mother) originally played Diane; Elaine Stritch took over the part. Both Sam Shepard and Christopher Walken essayed the role of Peter, which finally went to Sam Waterston. Denholm Elliot was set to play Lloyd, with Charles Durning as Howard; but Elliott played Howard, Jack Warden took over the role of Lloyd, and Durning was bumped from the film.
There is a striking similarity between one of SEPTEMBER's subplots and the real-life story of actress Lana Turner and her daughter Cheryl Crane. In 1958, Crane murdered her mother's lover, gangster Johnny Stompanato. The stabbing was eventually ruled a justifiable homicide because the court decided that the girl was trying to protect her mother from what she perceived to be a death threat from Stompanato. The event generated a great deal of negative publicity but, for the most part, did not adversely affect Turner's acting career.
Brian Hamill, listed as still photographer in the credits, later published a book entitled WOODY ALLEN AT WORK.